MacMedics Macintosh Service, Consulting, & Sales For Baltimore, Washington DC, & Philadelphia Blog

Macintosh Consulting, Service, & Support

Archive for the ‘iBook’ tag

Your Macintosh Service Advantage: MacMedics Is Exclusively Apple!

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Your Macintosh Service Advantage: MacMedics Is Exclusively Apple!

As the Apple Macintosh family of computers and other Apple devices like the iPod, iPad, and iPhone become increasingly more popular, more and more computer repair places are offering “Mac Repairs” as a “Side Business”.

It’s tempting for PC centric computer shops to try and grab a new revenue stream by cashing in on the increased number of Macs in the marketplace. Do you really want a PC guy/gal at a PC shop or at a big box store, who is not trained, certified, or authorized in Apple service guessing their way though your Apple repair? We didn’t think so.

We’ve seen some amazing cases of Apple service gone horribly wrong at both big box stores and at independent shops. In fact, we’ve had situations where a computer repair place has tried to fix a Mac, botched or misdiagnosed the repair, only to bring it into MacMedics for us to bail them out of a tough Mac repair situation.

When you’re looking for an Apple Authorized Service Provider for your broken Macintosh or Mac data recovery case, you really should seek out an experienced and professional Macintosh service organization with ALL of the Apple Credentials and Authorizations, such as MacMedics.

MacMedics is a very well established (since 1989) Apple Authorized Service Provider, Apple Authorized Value Added Reseller, as well as Certified Members of The Apple Consultants Network. We have an impressive 22-year history of exclusive dedication to the Macintosh computer platform. We were offering a third party alternative to stuffy Apple Dealer service way before the Apple Store, and way before anyone else in the State of Maryland. In fact, MacMedics was offering on-site Macintosh service in the late Eighties during a time where such a service was considered “in-shop” and “on the bench” everywhere else.

Our Apple service part inventory is quite likely the largest collection of Apple service parts in the Mid-Atlantic region. Since MacMedics bought out macUpgrades of Bethesda, Maryland we acquired all of their Apple Authorized service parts. That’s like having a DOUBLE 20-year accumulation of Apple factory service parts and other supplies! Not only do we have hundreds and hundreds of genuine Apple service parts in stock, we also have tons of vintage and obsolete Apple service parts so we can repair any Macintosh computer ever made. We also have our own Macintosh computer museum so if there is a special service situation where we need to access data from 20 years ago, or make something work in order accomplish a special task, we can do that too!

So when it comes to the most basic Mac repairs, or services like hard drive replacements/upgrade and memory upgrades (ours come with a lifetime warranty by the way), or the most advanced services like Macintosh data recovery or liquid spill rescue, you can count on MacMedics to be there to provide an accurate diagnosis and the correct and appropriate repair for your Macintosh computer.

MacMedics is the leading Apple Authorized Service Provider for Baltimore, Washington, Annapolis, Columbia, and Towson, Maryland. Our On-Site service and consulting that is available throughout the Mid-Atlantic region is our claim to fame, but we’re also quite well known for Apple Authorized sales as well.

MacMedics is an Apple Authorized Value Added Reseller and an Apple Authorized Government Reseller, and as such we have the Authorizations from Apple to not only sell the full Macintosh Computer line, but also to resell the iPad, iPod, and Apple TV.

If you have a unit that is beyond repair, or just one that you put to the side a few years ago, we’ll accept it as a trade in on a new hardware purchase or as credit towards a repair or data recovery. Even if the hardware you have is very old, or extremely damaged, we’ll still accept it for e-waste recycling. So, drop off your broken PC, Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPod, cell phone, or other small electronics like hard drives, small printers, or other reasonably sized electronics, cable, power supplies and adapters for free recycling.

With our two fully staffed Apple Authorized Sales and Service locations serving the Baltimore, Annapolis, Washington DC area as well as the entire Washington DC and Baltimore region, we’re a great place to drop a sick Mac off for repair. Our office in Millersville is 1/10 of a mile off I-97 and our office in Lanham is 1 mile outside of I-495/I-95 and 1/2 mile off of RT 50. No appointments are ever necessary!

If you live in Annapolis and commute to Baltimore or Washington DC or vice versa, then you drive right past one of our offices on every trip you make on I-97 or RT-50. Stop in to see us with your sick or broken Mac, or swing by to pick up a cable, power adapter, iPod, iPad, or anything else Apple related!

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MacMedics: Love What You Do, Do What You Love – We LOVE Helping Macintosh Service Customers!

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If you turn up at the Apple Store with a PowerBook G4, they can’t help you. A client came in recently with an original Clamshell iBook, and said when he had taken it into Apple, the Genius had never even seen one before and did not even recognize it as an Apple product at first. We’ve seen them before, owned them, and worked on them many, many times.

In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that MacMedics has the largest collection of vintage Apple service parts in Maryland. We’ve got new parts, used parts, third-party after market parts, power supplies, batteries, memory, hard drives, AirPort cards, keyboards, LCDs, and just about any other crazy part you might need (right down to the screws that hold them together!).

Today we help a new client with her PowerBook G4 which had some minor trouble. We had it checked out, fixed, and on her way in just a short amount of time.

The person who we helped today, was kind enough to take a moment to leave us a nice review on-line. Here’s a copy for you to check out here:

“This was my first visit to Macmedics in Baltimore. Initially I made contact via phone, the person that answered was friendly and knowledgeable and invited me to come in to have my computer checked out. That is exactly what I did, I jumped in my vehicle and went over to the repair shop. The technicians were friendly and knowledgeable, and most importantly I immediately felt comfortable with them. My situation was solved during my visit and I was on my way home with my laptop in hand within 45 minutes. Macmedics will be my choice when I need my laptop serviced in the future. I am from Cleveland, Ohio and recently made Baltimore my home. I had no idea where to go, but I found them on the internet and checked out their website and everything else was easy. “Thanks everyone for your great service.” Sincerely, Charmaine”

Keep Your Cup Of Coffee At Least An Arms Length Away From Your MacBook Pro!

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If you spill coffee into your MacBook or MacBook Pro, the trick is to get it to MacMedics fast. Don’t try to fix it yourself, and just because it seems to be working OK, does NOT mean you’re out of the woods. Best thing to do is try to mop up excess liquid, remove the battery, then get it to us a quickly as possible.

Here are some Do-It-Yourself procedures to avoid:

1. Don’t try to turn the unit on NO MATTER WHAT. If there is liquid in the unit, and it’s making a connection between anything, then that could very well be the end of your laptop.

2. Don’t try to take the unit apart yourself. It’s not that hard to take off most MacBook’s top case, but to ensure the liquid is gone, the logic board needs to be removed in almost every case.

3. Don’t try to clean your logic board or any other part of your computer with “distilled” water. In fact, we don’t recommend you even try to clean it at all.

4. If moisture gets in, it’s usually not going to go away on it’s own. If your computer seems to be working after a spill, then that means you most likely got lucky and we might be able to fix/save your MacBook or MacBook Pro. But, in order to do so, turn the unit off and remove the battery. The liquid problem almost never goes away on it’s own.

5. If you have something like coffee, orange juice, soda, and many other type of acidic liquids, two things, 1. the acid will cause more corrosion than just water, and 2. Anything that has sugars in it won’t totally evaporate, it will just turn in a syrup which can cause it’s own set of problems. If you are growing a corrosion “science fair” project inside your laptop, you’ll end up with something that looks like mold that we call “creeping crud“. This stuff is nasty, because as long as it’s inside your unit, it can sort of “grow” and “creep” to reach other parts of your computer and cause more damage along the way. Anything it touches and then grows on will get get fried if power is applied (even well after the liquid is long gone). It’s also very brittle and it can crack off and then “float” around inside of your unit causing more issues as it “pinballs” its way around the inside of your computer.

6. Do us a big favor, don’t put your Apple laptop into an oven to dry it out. This can cause a whole new set of problems. We just wrapped up writing an estimate on a Unibody MacBook Pro that the owner tried to take it apart, then tried to clean the keyboard with water, and then baked the whole thing in the oven. Total repair $1700. New computer $1200.

One other thing to think about: Your hard drive. If your data is NOT backed up, your liquid soaked laptop could be putting your data at risk. This is the first thing we look a when working on a liquid spill case. We remove the hard drive and check to ensure that your data is safe. Most DIY repairs don’t take this into account, and most won’t take the controller off the hard drive to ensure there’s no liquid under it. When making a back up plan, you should take into account laptop damage as a possible way for your data to get in harm’s way. Please ensure you have a back up (tested and working) at all times.

Here’s a testimonial for one that we fixed a while back. This client was smart and he got the unit to us quickly, so we could get the coffee out while it was still wet.

“Well I’ve received my MacBook delivered back to me via your courier; and, I have to tell you that it was like getting a member of the family home from the hospital. Five days after buying my MacBook, I spilled coffee across the open laptop: I was certain that I had just spent $1,200 for coffee I wouldn’t get to enjoy. I never dreamed you could have saved my files– much less the entire computer. I am in awe of the dedication and skill it must have taken to disassemble my laptop, clean it piece by piece, and then return it to me as good as new. Thank you for the attention, the care, and the professionalism you demonstrated in far exceeding my expectations in quality of service and affordability. I highly recommend MacMedics, and would encourage any Mac user who drinks coffee to put your number on speed dial.”

Shane Townsend
Baltimore, Maryland

Why NOT to have your Macintosh serviced at a “Big Box” store’s repair department

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When a “Big Box” store with a national advertising campaign hangs out their shingle for Mac service, it might feel like a good option. We’re quickly learning from our clients that having a Mac serviced by someone that’s primarily working on PC’s and not super experienced on servicing Macs might be a bad idea.

Lots of companies are now jumping on the Mac service band wagon. When you have a major Mac service service need like an LCD or logic board, please consider that MacMedics is the regional leader for Apple Macintosh sales and service. We pioneered on-site Macintosh service, and our in-lab service is also highly regarded and award winning. Macintosh computers are highly engineered and as such they often have very small parts, various sized screws, and very tight fittings cases. All three of these things frequently trip up firms that are NOT specialized in Mac service. We frequently see computers after they have already been someplace else and NOT properly serviced. MacMedics is an Apple Authorized Service Provider and we’ve been fixing only Macs for over 20 years. So, before you ship your beloved laptop (or desktop) to places unknown, consider sending or bringing it to MacMedics. Also, all non-warranty Apple repairs are covered by our no hassle 1-year MacMedics warranty. If it fails, we fix it free.

Today, we had a client with a MacBook that had liquid spilled on it. They wanted to act quickly, so they took it to their nearest “Big Box” store, and the guys there quoted them a new logic board. When confronted with a large repair bill, they called MacMedics for a second opinion. We told them it would be a good idea to have us look at it, and ensure that it really did need a new logic board. It’s a good thing they brought it to us, because it turned out they panicked about the amount of liquid that was spilled, and that was not a factor. We think all the unit needed was a “System Manger Controller” reset and it was back on it’s feet. So for $49 they got an in-depth spill inspection and a SMC rest and they were good to go.

In another case of a client taking the “Big Box” route, we had a customer who wanted to get his hard drive upgraded in his G4 iBook. He brought it to us, and because we did not have the exact size drive size he wanted (super rare for us), he opted to take it to a local “Big Box” store for service. It should have been a pretty quick turn around as it was just a hard drive upgrade. After a few days and a few phone calls to their shop to ask about the unit’s progress, it was clear they were having issues with his iBook. We had just seen his computer here when he checked it in for a drive upgrade, but when we figured out we were out of stock, he took the unit with him. Nearly a week later he called me for advice. I told him to pick it up and bring it in for me to check.

We found numerous issues:

• The iBook had not be reassembled correctly
• There were missing screws
• There were stripped screws and screws in the wrong hole
• The iBook’s frame was broken
• The iBook’s logic board was fried as it would no longer display internal or external video

This is the iBook that was damaged by a big box store's service dept.

This is the iBook that was damaged by a big box store service dept.

When we added up all of the repair costs to get this super sick iBook back in shape, it looks it’s a better bet to go with one of the new White $999 Apple MacBooks instead of fixing this one. It’s still here, so I assume he’s having a hard time getting the offending service department to pay for their mistakes.

Update 2/22/09:

I ran into our client who had the problem with the big box store’s repair department at the Stefan G. Bucher Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington event on Thursday (MacMedics was a sponsor). He gave me an update on the status of his complaint. He ending up taking the offending service department to Small Claims Court here in Anne Arundel county. The court date is coming up quick, and it appears they are not going to settle out of court. I have to say I’m pretty surprised. Our client has pictures and other pretty convincing evidence to show the court. I’ll let you know what happens.

Update 4/1/09:

I heard from this client yesterday and he informed me that the “Big Box” store that damaged his computer did settle out of court with him for $1000. That of course does not really take into account that he he had to buy a new computer out of pocket, and that he had to wait over six months for the court case. Sad, that the folks that did the damage, waited until the day before court to settle up.

We’re always accepting exciting and difficult in-lab Mac repair work (like liquid spills, LCD screen replacements, hard drive upgrades, and of course data recovery (PLEASE check your back up system if you have one, or get one now that works automatically (like Time machine), so if you’ve got an Apple computer that’s not working correctly, bring it by and let figure out what’s going on with it. MacMedics has a long award-winning track record for service, and as an experienced Apple Authorized Service Provider, we have the tools and knowledge to quickly take care of your repair or data recovery situation.

Written by Dana Stibolt

October 31st, 2008 at 2:20 pm